Let’s be frank. The travel agency industry is on its death bed, yet we still need travel agents to some extent. Find out if a career in this dying industry is still worth it. A position as a travel agent may seem glamorous, but every job has its pros and cons. If you are considering a career as a travel agent, weigh the drawbacks and benefits of this profession carefully. While many people enjoy long careers as travel agents, this profession is certainly not for everyone.
As with any other profession, it is important to enjoy working with people before considering becoming a travel agent. Most agents deal with people regularly, so possessing good communication skills is vital. In addition, travel agents don’t always earn a particularly profitable income. You might have to work part-time as an agent in addition to another job. Take a look at these pros and cons to determine if becoming a travel agent is right for you.
The main problem with becoming a travel agent is the Internet. Travel agencies were among the first industries that left the “real” world and became highly successful online. Even though brick and mortar travel agencies used to be popular, many people now prefer to book a vacation online. Don’t let this deter you though, since anyone who travels beyond a simple trip knows that the ability to speak to someone about their options in many cases outweighs the info that you search for online. You would be amazed at how much useful information an experienced travel agent could provide you with, from car rentals to hotel books, to flights around the world.
Another drawback is that this industry is not recession proof. Therefore, you could wind up out of a job during the next big recession. When people try to cut back on spending, travel is often the first thing that goes out the window.
If you don’t plan on working for yourself as a travel agent contractor, you might also be paid based on commission. People who are great at sales might not mind commission pay, but people who aren’t great at selling will find commission-based pay hard to deal with.
The most obvious advantage to becoming a travel agent is a reduction in travel expenses. The type of reduction gained may fluctuate from agency to agency. There are other advantages including:
- Mobility: if you work for yourself, you might be able to work from home (or from an exotic location!)
- Knowledge: you will know the ins and outs of the travel industry.
- Freedom: escape when you want and go wherever you want if you work as a contractor.
There are a few ways to begin your career as a travel agent. You can start by calling up a local agency and asking how you can begin work. You can also gain a degree within the travel field at a local college or university. Speak with a travel agent in your town to find out more information about this career. As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages to becoming a travel agent.